14 MAY 1994

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The Spectator

Gaybusters! M r John Major, the Prime Minister, was urged to contemplate a referendum on the European Community in an attempt to avoid disastrous losses for the Conservative...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405

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1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 PLANE TRUTH S omewhere over Europe at this very moment are 60 aircraft which should not be there. They are not North Korean suicide...

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L ast week a minor personal catastrophe tossed me the key to open yet another door bolted against my freedom. Chewing on some toast during the large breakfast I am obliged to...

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The rich should never forget how much they are hated AUBERON WAUGH `It is going to get a lot of people's backs up,' said Mr Andrew Brawn, 29, manager of the Kiosk store of...

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Anne Applebaum visits the headquarters of the world's first global television news network, and sees Ted Turner, Jane Fonda and Bill Clinton getting together to save the world...

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Mind your language

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MY FRIEND Miss Cristina ()clone, the editrix of the Catholic Herald, referred recently to a Canadian priest as the `Rev. Tomalin'. That hurt. You must add a Christian name or an...

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John Simpson discloses that, all of a sudden, everyone in South Africa had been in the secret resistance to apartheid Cape Town THE STRUGGLE for democracy has never,' said...

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Simon Heifer interviews the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is, as usual, disarmingly frank DOMINATING the grand panelled saloon that is the Chancellor of the Exchequer's...

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Martin Vander Weyer meets the head of London Transport, a man starved of cash and sympathy by a government conspiracy A CONVERSATION with Sir Wilfrid Newton, chairman of...

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Alasdair Palmer goes on a guided tour of the heart of freemasonry and is more amused than alarmed 'LET ME assure you,' said the genial guide, 'freemasonry has absolutely...

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If symptoms persist.. .

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ON MY way to the prison last week I turned on my car radio and heard a heated discussion about plans to priva- tise the railways. Someone was angrily defending to the last...

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Candida Lycett Green continues our series on the counties of England with an affectionate look at Berkshire FOR MOST people Berkshire goes unno- ticed, discarded by romantics...

Hunting r Perfection-

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One hundred years ago

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THE expansion of the Empire still con- tinues as an automatic process. Colonel Colville, with his Soudanese, has been "brilliantly successful" in his attack on Unyoro, has...

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The concluding instalment of the unexpurgated 1939 diary of Sir Charles Mappin 13 September Bryan and Simone went riding on horse- back to see an American who lives on the...

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A two-fingered salute to Jacques Delors and his Nuremberg Laws PAUL JOHNSON O ne learns as a historian to recognise the wearily predictable human habit of oscillating from one...

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Paying for the past

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DEREGULATION IS a certain bet for the white paper but something of a talking horse. There will be plans to chip away old regulations (Factories Acts, Shops and Offices Acts) and...


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The great Hezza bandwagon gallops along with happy hints of hog heaven CHRISTOPHER FILDES ways ready to bet on a bandwagon, my City friends had their glasses out the other day...

Clocking the meeting

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BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY: I learn that an ingenious Swedish clockmaker has patented a clock to take to meetings. Instead of telling the time it tells the money. The salaries of all...

A previous Chancellor

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INFLATION KEEPS hitting the target set for it by the previous Chancellor, so the Bank of England wonders why the markets have so blatantly lost faith. Something to do with...

Closing sale

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THERE SHOULD be fireworks this week- end at the annual meeting of the Norwich Union, which (as I was saying last week) is happy to tell others how to run their busi- nesses but...

Post haste

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THE POST OFFICE — motto: please hurry up and privatise us, we want private sector salaries — has a newly commercial approach to its express delivery service. This despatches...

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Hidden agenda

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Sir: I suggest that John Learmonth hangs onto his copy of Teach Yourself Practical Concreting and awards another of his books LETTERS to a 'suitably boring person' (Letters,...

LETTERS Back to Bedlam

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Sir: In a long denunciation of care in the community, Alasdair Palmer (`Carnage in the community', 7 May) cannot bring him- self to say outright that we should go back to...

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Sir: Charles Moore's excellent article on Anthony Chenevix-Trench (Another voice, 7 May), and all the excitement in the press about flogging and the horrors of corporal...

Sir: When I read Taki's intelligent and humane thoughts on

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the corporal punish- ment meted out to Michael Fay in Singa- pore (High life, 16 April), I could not help wishing that, if Taki should ever again decide to travel abroad with a...

Bucharest bargain

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Sir: John Nickson, ENO, asks: 'Where else does Mr Christiansen expect the general public to enjoy large-scale opera at an aver- age price of £25?' (Letters, 7 May). Last week I...

Sir: Those of us who suffered from, or administered, school

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beatings remember the practice as one that was peculiarly English and essentially masculine — hence le vice anglais. Imagine, then, our distress at finding (the caption to last...

Major's man

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Sir: In last week's Spectator (Politics, 7 May) your columnist, Simon Heffer, describes me as relentlessly campaigning on behalf of Mr Heseltine. This allegation is untrue and...

Branson pickle

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Sir: Richard Branson challenges Spectator readers to name a business venture he has abandoned (Letters, 30 April). Is he nar- rowing the challenge to you to those ven- tures...

Sir: Richard Branson laments the condem- nation of his company's

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plans for County Hall by Tony Banks and three other Labour MPs, and asks what else the build- ing could possibly be used for. Might one suggest that it could quite profitably be...

Pure coincidence

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Sir: Is any similarity between the title of Paul Johnson's new book, Wake Up, Britain! and the Nazis' early slogan, 'Deutschland erwach!' purely accidental? Francis...


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12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £80.00 0 £41.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £91.00 0 546.00 USA Airspeed 0 US$130 0 US$66.00 USA Airmail 0 US$175 0 US$88 Rest of Airmail 0 £111.00 0 £55.50 World...

Sane, 071 724 6570. The helpline number for anyone living

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with mental illness is open every day of the year, from 2.00 p.m. to 12.00 p.m. on 071 724 8000.

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This is the moment for the intervener to act on principle SIMON JENKINS I am baffled that nobody has yet demanded a peace-keeping force for Yemen. The lesson of Bosnia and...

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N ever trust a man who does not drink. The near-nonagenarian Pavel Sudoplatov explains that alcohol makes him sick. He was head of Stalin's foreign intelligence, and spent his...


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`Sad' evergreen seems true to think of laurel, yew, stiff privet, well-clipped, holm-oak or eucalypt; how the shadowless mass of spruce or cypress flanks field or swathes hill,...

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Our latter-day Carlyle

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Simon Heifer WAKE UP BRITAIN! A LATIER DAY PAMPHLET by Paul Johnson Weidenfeld, £9.99, pp. 200 I n January 1850, at the culmination of what he described as a period of 'deep...


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(after Fernando Pessoa) They say it's fake or lying All that I write. But no. I only imagine Whatever is there to feel. Don't use the heart at all. All that I do or dream,...

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Seeing his pilot face to face

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Raymond Carr THE KING I n normal circumstances I would not regard the writings of Vilallonga as reliable sources for the historian. His memoirs contain some outrageous...

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After a search so painful and so long

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Amit Chaudhuri A WAY IN THE WORLD by V. S. Naipaul Heinemann, £14.99, pp. 256 A Way in the World has a subtitle — 'A Sequence' — and a sequence is what this book is, though...

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The wheel spins, the pendulum swings

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J. Enoch Powell THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE: THINK TANKS AND THE ECONOMIC COUNTER-REVOLUTION by Richard Cockett HarperCollins, £25, pp. 390 6 W hat a dust do I raise!', exclaimed...

Memoir of a wasted life

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Tom Hiney ABSOLUTION by Olaf Olafsson Phoenix, £12.99, pp. 259 T o recommend the debut novel of an Icelandic businessman sounds like the start of a second-rate Python gag. But...

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Even better than me

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Julie Burchill IF YOU'RE TALKING TO ME YOUR CAREER MUST BE IN TROUBLE: MOVIES, MAYHEM AND MALICE by Joe Queenan Picador, £5.99, pp. 267 J oe Queenan is the funniest writer in...

The New Gap

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One time I'd have said that wood had little chance against stone. Until I noticed what a growing tree did to Patrick's wall I'd have said that wood was much like flesh and bone...

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Even less fiction than Stranger

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Anita Brookner LE PREMIER HOMME by Albert Camus Gallimard, FF 100, pp. 331 by Albert Camus Gallimard, FF 100, pp. 331 T he question is whether, with the dis- covery of his...

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The Spectator index for July to December 1993 is now available. Order Form r July-Dec 1992 Jan-June 1992 July-Dec 1991 Jan-June 1991 July-Dec 1990 I enclose a cheque For £...

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T elevision has always tried to live with the arts. On the one hand the high brow traditions of British broadcasting have kept a toe-hold in the schedules for opera, ballet,...

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Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away ... (Serpentine, till 4 June) May Balls Giles Atli), T he social event of the season so far as youthful avant-garde art is concerned occurred in...

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Wozzeck (Berlin Staatsoper) Fedora (Royal Opera House) Best clichés in the book Rupert Christiansen B erg's Wozzeck is one of those rare operas — Katya Kabanova is another...


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Engaging the Brits Mark Steyn A fter Four Weddings, a Funeral and a Massive Pre-Publicity Campaign comes the long awaited sequel, Four Weddings and a Funeral: The Actual...

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Les Parents Terribles (National/Lyttelton) Love's Labour's Lost (RSC Barbican) The Weekend (Strand) Director's vision Sheridan Morley W ith its An Inspector Calls triumphing...

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Doyle in family values Martyn Harris T he usual criticism of Roddy Doyle is that he is an engaging and amusing nov- elist with nothing to say. He is good at dia- logue and it...


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Grit and determination Ursula Buchan 0 ne of the more consoling aspects of writing a gardening column is the corre- spondence I receive from readers. Hidden away, as I am for...

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High life

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Presidential dinners Taki New York What impressed me more, however, was the fact that Nixon not only conversed in fluent Spanish with the myriads of Jimmy's staff, he inquired...

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Low life

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Bernard, hand back the money Jeffrey Bernard O ne morning last week, I woke up and it was ominously dark. I hadn't woken too early, it was just a storm coming in from the...

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Long life

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A stupid and ignorant King Nigel Nicolson R oy.) , is a web of such gossamer fragility that it will disintegrate if you expose it to the light. This was the warning given to...

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SOME MONTHS ago you may remember (and there's no penalty

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if you don't) I men- tioned one Richard Corrigan. He, at that time, was slaving away in Bentley's in Swal- low Street, a beached genius. Bentley's is certainly no longer what...

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Calypso Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1829 you were asked for a calypso celebrating England ' s recent first Test match victory in Barbados for 59 years. ` Cricket, lovely...


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SPAIN'S FINEST CAVA guLdu CHESS SPAIN'S FINEST CAVA NEXT MONTH Michael Adams faces Sergei Tiviakov in the PCA World Cham - pionship quarter - finals in New York. After his...

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Solution to 1156: I'm there!

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01 L Z Y E R LAY,ENL LSTMENTIS The unclucd lights are the seven dwarfs in the Disney film (1A) and also included is the crossword set- ter's name (7A). First prize: J. Light,...

W. & J.

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rj GRAHAM'S - 1 PORT r CROSSWORD C 1 GRAHAM'Sh PORT r 1159: Displaced persons by Doc A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first...

No. 1832: Conman

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You are invited to write a story (maximum 150 words) for which this could be the title, containing a dozen words of four letters or more beginning with con or man. Entries to...

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HOWEVER long exiled, a true Brit is for- ever lumbered for life with his football team, so for Spectator readers abroad here are the season's definite ups and downs of what we...


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. . Dear Mary. Q. I learn that titles are no longer admissi- ble on the new EC passports, but are recorded only as 'observations' deep inside the document where no one is...